British Ambassador to China visits University of Nottingham Ningbo China
24 November 2023
22 November: Dame Caroline Wilson DCMG, the British Ambassador to China, along with Mr Matthew John Burney, British Consul-General in Shanghai, and other officials from the British Consulate-General Shanghai, visited the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). Mr Shuanglin Jiao, Deputy Director-General of Ningbo Foreign Affairs Office, accompanied the visitors.
Madam Yafen Xu, Chair of the UNNC Board, along with Professor Sam Shen, Party Secretary of UNNC, and Professor Nick Miles OBE, Provost of UNNC and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, representing the university warmly welcomed the ambassador and the delegation. UNNC highlighted their dedication to fostering exchange and collaboration between China and the UK including in scientific research, education, culture since its establishment nearly 20 years ago.
During the visit the ambassador toured key locations including the Library, the Sir Peter Mansfield Building, which encompasses the MRI laboratory, and the Li Dak Sum Incubator in the Innovation and Enterprise Building.
In the Library, May Yan, Director of the Library, provided an overview of the construction background and design concept of the Library to the guests and demonstrated how the space integrates study, research, nature, culture, and art to meet the diverse needs of students.
Subsequently, in the Sir Peter Mansfield Building, Professor Tao Wu, Vice Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FoSE), outlined the faculty’s development. Backed by world-class scientific research resources, FoSE has been dedicated to improving teaching quality, cultivating talent, and providing students with a diverse learning experience. Currently, FoSE has three National Level First Class Undergraduate Modules recognised by the Ministry of Education and 11 undergraduate programmes accredited by authoritative international institutes. Dame Caroline acknowledged and affirmed the achievements of FoSE in teaching and scientific research, noting the numerous honours and medals on the building's walls.
In the MRI lab, Professor Chengbo Wang, Director of Sir Peter Mansfield MRI Centre, showcased his research team’s innovation in biomedical imaging techniques and hardware development and its contributions to the field of health and wellbeing. "We brought the world-renowned MRI research of the University of Nottingham to UNNC and achieved the breakthrough to develop multi-pose MRI scanning techniques, which has had outstanding significance in brain science and blood perfusion in the clinic," he explained.
Dame Caroline expressed admiration for the collaborative efforts of the UK and China in medical technologies. She further emphasised that the UK attaches great importance to developing education and scientific research cooperation and communications with China, especially in areas of common concern such as artificial intelligence and healthcare, expressing a desire to enhance collaboration with UNNC in related fields.
Finally, Dame Caroline and the delegation visited the Li Dak Sum Incubator. Min Rose, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, introduced the achievements of the Incubator in entrepreneurship support, practice, and incubation, serving as a hub and bridge connecting international talents and business resources with local needs. Professor Nick Miles underscored UNNC’s pioneering role in the integration of higher education in China with high-quality educational resources from abroad as the first Sino-foreign university. “We provide students not only with academic support but also with a systematic and comprehensive approach to help them integrate with cities and industries deeply." Dame Caroline fully agreed with this view.
In the Innovation and Enterprise Building, the guests also met with students participating in an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) competition. Dame Caroline showed keen interest in their performance and achievements in the contest and their learning experiences at UNNC. She highly commended UNNC students' extensive overseas exchange opportunities, internships, and community service activities, expressing her appreciation for the education of UNNC.
"I am delighted to be here at UNNC today," said Dame Caroline. "I enjoyed talking with UNNC students. They are all highly talented. I am pleased they can use what they have learned for further exploration. I wish them all great success in their studies."